This is a pretty simple concept, right?
Sure, but it’s not always something we make the effort to focus on. Sometimes doing what’s comfortable is more appealing than doing what we envision as being impossible. We all get stuck in a rut sometimes.
There are some time goals I am looking to conquer this year, particularly in the 5K and half marathon. My neighborhood holds an annual 5K at the end of August and my goal is to run it in 26 minutes or better. Last year, I clocked in at exactly 28:00. The weather was pretty oppressive (day before Hurricane Irene). Barring any crazy weather patterns, I know I can come close to my goal time.
My goal for the Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon in early October is to run it in under 2:00. I have come close with this one as well with a 2011 time of 2:02. It seems that I’m just two minutes shy of each race and while it’s ONLY two minutes, it will take some diligence and hard work to get there.
My runs lately have been a bit erratic and I will be the first to admit that I am not the most consistent. I’m hoping this will change once I start training in July for the Philly Marathon. But, nevertheless, I am becoming better at running shorter distances. My new running shoes have also helped.
I’m slightly kidding when I say that my running kicks make me faster (they’re the Asics Gel Blur-33) but they are a lower heel to toe drop than what I’m used to and they weigh less. I’m just going to tell myself they’re helping me out a bit.
So, what have I been doing to GET faster?
I’m consistently adding little bursts of speed to my runs, especially on shorter runs, to mimic race day efforts. This helped me in running my speediest 5-miler – EVER – during the April 15th Delmar Dash. Last year, I ran this local race in 50:45. I was kind of bummed because I knew I could do a lot better than I did. This year, I made it a point to run this race faster than in 2011 and faster than I ever thought possible. I finished in 44:07. The other night, I completed a short run (a little over 3 miles – it was all I had time for) and hit a 7:53/mile. Slow for some, but fast for me.
Putting in that little extra effort can go a long way. Everyone’s different so listen to your body. I’m not a sports medicine specialist but obviously, if you’re in pain – the “Oh no, something’s wrong” kind of pain, not the “Oh, let me just slow down because I’m tired” kind of pain – then you should definitely stop to rest. Always follow your instincts and if you really feel that something is amiss it’s wise to seek medical care.
There are different types of speed/track workouts you can try like Yasso 800s which are fun. There’s a great article in the June issue of Runner’s World about nailing certain time goals in the 5K. It includes helpful tips and small training plans. You can also check out this Runner’s World article that’s equally as informative.
Take yourself out of your comfort zone and enjoy the ride!
How do you train to run faster? Do you like speed workouts? PR any races lately or nail any time goals in training?